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How to paint 2 versions of the same painting with watercolor or mixed media

Tofino Surfers painting tutorials, a watercolor and a mixed media variation on the same subject

I made two paintings from the same picture, one watercolor on paper and one mixed media on canvas. I painted those from a picture I took in Tofino (British Columbia- Canada) and I liked it because I found the composition with the boards very interesting, it had rhythm and variety.

I thought it could be interesting to show the process of the two paintings in parallel, although I have less pictures for the watercolor because I kind of got caught painting and forgot about the pictures. Anyway the watercolor version was much faster and much direct to paint.
The watercolor paintings often have an interesting luminosity that might come from the fact that the white of the paper is shining through the colors. It is difficult to reproduce that effect with a mixed media painting, although I really like the complexity of colors and edges on the mixed media version, that you don’t find in the watercolor version.

First version, Watercolor on paper:

drawing on watercolor paper

My drawing, pencil on paper.I just drew a few outlines for the main shapes.

masking fluid to preserve the white of the paper.

Adding some masking fluid to preserve the white of the paper.

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Daler-Rowney Masking Fluid

This fluid is used to create striking white highlights or to mask areas for overpainting at a later stage. It forms a fast-drying, water-resistant film on watercolor paper and board, and is easily removed when dry.

painting watercolor washes

Adding some washes of color, painting colors from light to dark and adding a few layers where the colors are darker.

watercolor seascape with surfers painting tutorial

The finished painting, Tofino surfers, watercolor on paper

Second version, Mixed media on canvas:

drawing on canvas

My drawing, pencil on pre-gessoed canvas.

step by step acrylic painting tutorial, acrylic washes

I am painting with acrylics, sometimes in washes, sometimes in a thick manner.

step by step acrylic painting tutorial, painting in layers

I am using bright colors as an under-layer. The bright colors won’t show completely on the finished painting but they will still show in places and along the edges.

acrylic seascape with surfers, layers of color

I am choosing colors that are complementary to my local final colors to paint the next layer.

learn acrylic, painting layers of color

I go on adding layers of acrylic.

painting with acrylics on canvas

Then I start adding colors that I see as undertones of the final color.

painting with acrylics on canvas

A layer of white mixed with medium for the sky so some of the color underneath is still visible.

scrubbing off acrylic paint

Here I found that my colors are too uniform so I want to scrub some off. I start spraying with alcohol.

scrubbing off acrylic paint

Here I scrubbed some painting off with a sponge.

acrylic paint mixed with medium

Next, I am adding some white mixed with medium.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

 

 

Liquitex Acrylic Mediums

Gel mediums are ideal for extending a heavy body paint, to create impasto, relief, or sculptural effects. – Gel Medium, Gloss

glazing acrylic paint

I continue adding layers of colors with acrylic.

step by step acrylic painting demo

Then, I am defining the shapes with local color.

scrubbing off acrylic paint with a sponge

Another stage of scrubbing off.

painting with oil pastels on top of acrylic paint

Then I start adding some accents of colors, with oil pastels, adding more definition and working on edges

acrylic painting ideas, painting a seascape with surfers

I keep adding colors along the edges.

edge quality in acrylic and mixed media paintings

A detail of the faces where I added some details for a better definition.

painting with acrylics layer by layer

My painting process involves adding and removing layers of paint gradually.

mixing pigment and encaustic medium

Then I mix some white pigment with a wax encaustic medium.

adding encaustic on top of acrylic

I add the white encaustic paint in different areas of the painting

edges quality in acrylic and mixed media paintings

A detail of the finished painting.

edges quality in acrylic and mixed media paintings
Tofino Surfers painting tutorials, a watercolor and a mixed media variation on the same subject

The finished painting: Tofino surfers, mixed media on canvas

Tofino Surfers painting tutorials, a watercolor and a mixed media variation on the same subject
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